When it comes to vacuum sweepers and blowers it could be said that Trilo have firmly stamped their name on the UK 'market leader' label." So says Paul Trowman, General Manager of Trilo UK. Established in the early 1990s by the irrepressible Tim Merrell, the company was originally managed in parallel with sister organisation MJT Contracts Ltd.
In those days they imported plant and agricultural machinery, together with the first Trilo vacuum sweepers to reach these shores from The Netherlands. Very soon, Trilo products became their core activity as sales really began to take off. In August 2005, all business interests were incorporated into one company under the Trilo UK banner, still wholly owned by Tim. As such, they remain sole importers for the UK, supplying machines nationwide.
The parent company of Trilo, Van Loen Techniek was founded in 1932 by the Dutch van Loen Family and celebrated its 75th anniversary this year. They began manufacturing vacuums and sweepers in the 1970s under the Trilo trademark which was an amalgamation of the Latin for three - 'tri' (three brothers) and 'Lo' for the van Loen family name.
Trilo UK are a very pro-active organisation and can be seen at demonstration events throughout the UK in all weathers. I witnessed this personally in Scotland two years ago when torrential, freezing, rain drove everyone off the demo site except Paul Trowman who was determined to ignore the elements and persevere regardless.
I caught up with Paul at a recent Pitchcare event hosted by Rugby School, as usual mounted on a tractor and busily putting the new SG300 vacuum sweeper through its paces. This is the latest in a long line of such products from Trilo and is particularly compact. It is well suited for maintaining those golf courses populated with trees and shrubs or modest sized recreational areas and sportsgrounds. Despite its small dimensions, the performance is very impressive indeed with no compromise on suction power whatsoever.
The centrifugal pump is driven directly via a vee-belt tansmission. This provides for a very quiet and unobtrusive working atmosphere and I would consider, be greatly appreciated by schools and hospitals where such things are important. The machine is PTO driven at 540 rpm and requires a tractor of approximately 32hp.
Build quality and general fit and finish are first-rate. The machine is very well presented and suggests an air of durability and confidence to the viewer.
Also on display was the Trilo BL960 blower, which is the most powerful in their range. It is suitable for tractors in the 45hp plus category and easily able to cope with the removal of vast quantities of leaf deposits, litter or grass clippings.
I especially liked the little BL400 blower. This is a very maneuverable and handy machine, perfect for working around trees and restricted areas. Fitted with a special low noise fan and suitable for tractors of around 25 hp, the machine can be either front or rear mounted by 3-point linkage, making it a very versatile and useful tool.
During the lunch break I asked Paul Trowman to up-date me on recent developments at his company. "We have recently added other products to our inventory, to compliment the Trilo range" says Paul. "We were lucky enough to secure the soleUK distributorship for the new range of Green Clipper mowers. These are very low maintenance, high output rotary mowing machines imported from The Netherlands. They are tractor mounted with electrically driven blades allowing very high forward speeds and an exceptionally good finish."
There are four rotary models available, the Green Clipper 3, which has a working width of six metres and consists of three independent cutting decks. The four metre Green Clipper Sport which is designed for use on sports fields and large areas of turf. (Trilo claim that both mowers can be used in almost all weather conditions at very high speeds.)
The other two rotary models are the Green Clipper 5 - a five deck ten metre machine and the Green Clipper Sport++ with adjustable cutting width from 7-7.8 metres. In addition to the rotary models, an impressive looking reel mower named the Green Zizzor is available for those preferring the very fine finish provided by the electrically driven reel units.
Trilo have also taken over the distribution of the Canadian Progessive Turf Equipment range. These include rotary contour mowers and a very nice and robust looking series of roller mowers in both trailed and 3-point linkage configurations.
Trilo UK headquarters were relocated to bigger premises in 2005 on the outskirts of Newmarket in Suffolk. This was necessitated by the rapid expansion of business and to give additional storage space for the ever growing range of machinery. Such fast growth requires good back up, and Trilo have invested hugely in facilities for replacement parts and servicing requirements. Any working machine out of commission for even a short period, immediately translates into lost revenue and, in recognition of this, the company can guarantee delivery of parts within 24 hours or less when necessary.
Close cooperation with Trilo in The Netherlands enables the UK company to contribute fully to research and development of new products and any design change requirements. Family member Paul van Loen is chief technical designer and has been responsible for the creation of much of the current Trilo product range. Machines are exported worldwide and last year saw the set up of Trilo USA inc. This now gives the company trading facilities in three countries allowing intended global expansion to take place.
Trilo UK's own expansion programme hinges on developing existing products and also incorporating new and innovative complimentary machinery into the range. The recent decision to move into the highly competitive mower market was soundly based upon the identification and sourcing of new and unique grass cutting concepts. "With these new additions to the armoury the company is well placed to open up and service new and exciting markets" says Paul Trowman. "One thing is for sure though" he adds, "it won't be at the expense of our loyal and valued existing customers."